Ladies and mindful gents, listen up. Men develop C-PTSD issues after being abused, too. Abuse hurts them as much and sometimes more than the emotional, physical, psychological, and social abuse that all women, in general, tend to go through.
While women have long been thought to suffer at the hands of abusive men, men with heart, courage, and class are stepping forward at the rate of one in six to admit that they have also been abused — typically at the hands of women and or their family members or parents.
According to PsychGuides.com, more than one type of PTSD exists.. and guess what? The conditions are not at all gender-specific.
The psychology website shares, “Three different types of post-traumatic stress disorder exist. If symptoms last less than three months, the condition is considered acute PTSD. If symptoms last at least three months, the disorder is referred to as chronic PTSD. If symptoms manifest at least six months following a traumatic event, the disorder is classified delayed-onset PTSD, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).” But there’s also a fourth type clinical researchers are finally starting to take seriously and study.
It’s called C-PTSD for short, meaning Conditioned Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
People who develop chronic PTSD struggle with very specific flashbacks, typically related to incidents that traumatized them that they can directly think back and intellectually or historically point to as the cause, source, or origin of their condition. On the other hand, folks with CONDITIONED PTSD (or #CPTSD if you are doing online, social media-based research)… suffice it to say are a little different.
People with C-PTSD tend to report overwhelming “sourceless anxiety” coupled with a sense of existential angst and mock depression. By mock, we don’t mean people who suffer from it are faking and by sourceless, we in no way mean that the person who is suffering from the symptomatology is unaware as to the cause of it.
People who have C-PTSD include but are not limited to the following psychosocial subgroups:
- Military Professionals who are NOT Cluster B
- People who have been taken hostage or kidnapped
- Scapegoat Targets
- Whistleblowers who have been pervasively ostracized or persecuted
[BIG DRUMROLL HERE]
Domestic Abuse victims.
If the phrase, “Why don’t they just LEAVE?” has ever come out of your mouth or you have ever given someone else the advice to suck it up and deal with it following a traumatizing social argument or a bad break up, congratulations. You have officially — whether meaning to or not — acted as an Abuser By Proxy while touting the pervasive gaslighting “advice” given to nearly every single abuse victim on the planet.
If you self-criticized for being too thin-skinned or overly emotional…
If you have ever been accused of being too “needy” with regard to asking to have your needs be met or to have your subjective and wholly rational opinion about how someone else’s words or behavior impacted you psychologically…
If you were ever accused of being out of your mind, unrealistic, or simply “imagining things” when striving to pro-actively set healthy lifestyle boundaries in place while asking other people to show fundamental human kindness and respect to you…
YOU might just be a victim of a narcissistic or otherwise toxic peer group.
Whether you are a man or a woman, 18 or 82… you can either be a helper, a healer, an abuser, or an enabler. Learning to spot the warning signs of C-PTSD in yourself and others can truly make a huge impact not only on your own life but in the greater world around you.
Resist the urge to victim shame or to feel toxic shame at the thought of having been targeted for abuse. Cluster B personality types only succeed in life when and if their scapegoats, targets, and collateral damage victims help keep their secrets about not only their behavior but also about the victim’s own complex and lingering, pervasive, and utterly life-altering physical and mental health issues.
One in three women reports having experienced one or more instances of extreme Narcissistic Abuse in their lifetime. One in six men reports suffering similar abuse.
Breaking the silence about our own collective experiences as survivors is not playing the “victim card” as so many obnoxiously loud and abusive personality types are so quick to claim, declare as a gaslighting “truth”, or to remind you (when and if you were raised to feel ashamed of advocating for true justice, righteousness, or good). Narcissistic people are fundamentally socially competitive by the inherent biological limitations of their brain’s most primal anatomical structure by nature.
Nurture and enable toxicity? Look where it gets you.
Under the thumb of people who — if given the chance to socially or emotionally destroy you while they use free will choice to support selfish and narcissistic aims do so anytime they get the opportunity for no other reason than they treat life as a game? Surrounded by toxic friends and family members who not only can YOU not stand… but in all reality, they feel nothing much more than contempt and disdain for the likes of any and all kind people?
Sour faces create spoiled emotional places.
Do toxic fathers abuse? Yes — especially when they are emotionally distant, role model nothing more than self-indulgent behavior aside from honoring their financial obligation to be a breadwinner, or they play the misogyny card while striving to ensure their sons look down on women while their daughters learn to think of themselves as sex objects alone or sub-standard intellectual and physical species of humans for the simple crime of needing help on occasion from men to lift heavy things or open JARS.
If your mother was a toxic parent or a Mommy Dearest type who either abused or self-promoted her own best interest above that of the family or her own children, YOU HAVE BEEN ABUSED BY A FEMALE. Ladies? Be mindful of how you treat your sons, talk to your daughters, and the gender-specific biases you role model.
Being abused by a woman as a child tends to have even more subtle, lifelong implications for the victim than simply being bullied by physically intimidating men. That very real fact does not change, whether or not you were born a boy, a girl, or gender-neutral and were targeted for abuse.
Gentlemen? Don’t be afraid to speak up or out about Domestic Violence, Workplace Bullying, Social Injustice, or Romantic Abuse issues — but please, always remember…. do so in a respectful tone.
Bitching about the OTHER gender while making hasty generalizations and striving to stereotype or typecast all women into the role of the haughty abuser is truly destructive, divisive, and fosters BAD FORM. Together, we can make a difference.
Stronger together does not mean boys against the girls. It damn sure doesn’t mean mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and sisters against the men for the sole benefit of females, either. Once you know better, always… ALWAYS… strive to do better.
C-PTSD is simply not a gender-specific issue, even if the onset of the condition in victims comes due to having been pervasively abused by people of a different “stem on or off the apple” biological nature. As Psych Guides points out, “The Mayo Clinic mentions several reoccurring symptoms, including fearful thoughts, flashbacks, and bad dreams. These symptoms can become problematic in a person’s life. Some of the avoidance symptoms include difficulty remembering the traumatic event and avoiding reminders of the experience, such as places, people, and objects. Hyperarousal symptoms may also arise, such as feeling tense, being startled easily, and having trouble sleeping. While it is normal to experience some of these symptoms after a terrible event, symptoms lasting more than a few weeks may be signs of [Conditioned or Complex] PTSD.”
Break the silence. Resist the urge to tolerate victim-shaming by an uneducated, intolerant, or abusive “Flying Monkey mobbing style” general public.
Stronger together, in a healthy, functional, collaborative (rather than socially and psychologically competitive) society, [ideally] has absolutely nothing to do with gender.